MCG honors distinguished faculty

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The J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons, home of the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

The first board certified intensivist in Georgia and a neonatologist and expert in pediatric nutrition are among the faculty being honored by the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

Dr. Manuel P. Castresana, a professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, is the recipient of MCG’s 2018 Outstanding Faculty Award. Dr. Jatinder Bhatia, chief of the Division of Neonatology in the Department of Pediatrics is the recipient of the medical school’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Castresana is also the founder and director of the Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine Fellowship at MCG. Before joining the medical school full-time in 2003, he had served as a clinical professor since 1993. Many of his anesthesia colleagues call him the “Father of Critical Care Medicine in Georgia.” In his 30-year career, he has trained at least 400 residents in anesthesiology, surgery, internal medicine and family medicine, more than 500 medical students, 100 respiratory therapists and 14 critical care fellows.

He directs the only site in Georgia that provides the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s Fundamentals of Critical Care Support training. The twice-yearly workshops train non-intensivists to manage patients during the critical first 24 hours. He has more than 70 peer-reviewed publications, 100 abstract presentations and 40 medically-challenging case presentations that he has either authored or co-authored.

Castresana earned his medical degree from the University of Barcelona in Spain and completed residencies in critical care medicine at the Vall D’Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona and anesthesiology at the University Health Center of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Bhatia also is vice chair of clinical research for the Department of Pediatrics. He has been recognized for his academic and clinical work throughout his career with honors, including the Georgia Nutrition Council Award of Excellence and the Founder’s Award in Pediatrics from the Southern Society for Pediatric Research. Under his team’s leadership, the MCG/AU Health ECMO program has been named a Center of Excellence since 2006.

His research interests include a wide variety of neonatal issues such as neonatal nutrition, total parenteral nutrition, reactive oxygen species, hepatic dysfunction and outcomes research. His research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, industry and foundations. He is the author of more than 150 articles, abstracts and book chapters and has made presentations on his work nationally and internationally. He is a past president for the Southern Society of Pediatric Research and served on the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition, including a term as chair.

He is an honorary fellow of the Perinatal Association of the Philippines, as well as the Philippine Society of Newborn Medicine. At the regional level, he is the chair of the Committee of the Fetus and Newborn of the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Bhatia is a 1975 graduate of the Armed Forces Medical College of the University of Poona, India. He completed his pediatric residency, including a year as chief resident, at the Medical College of Georgia, followed by a joint fellowship in neonatology and pediatric nutrition at the University of Iowa.

Other honorees were:

Educators of the Year:

  • John Odom, clinical associate professor of surgery, Southeast Campus, based in Savannah/Brunswick
  • James Appiah-Pippim, clinical associate professor of medicine, AU/UGA Medical Partnership, Athens
  • Thaddeus Y. Carson, assistant professor, Department of Medicine
  • W. Scott Richardson, campus associate dean for medical education, AU/UGA Medical Partnership
  • Barbara Russell, associate professor, Department of Pathology
  • Howard Cohen, associate professor of medicine, AU/UGA Medical Partnership
  • Paul McNeil, professor, Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy
  • Brett Szymik, assistant professor of anatomy, AU/UGA Medical Partnership

Distinguished Faculty Awards:

  • Pamela Martin, associate professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, for Basic Science Teaching
  • Janet Munroe, associate professor, Department of Radiology and Imaging; and Dr. Sandra Sexson, chief of the Division of Child, Adolescent and Family Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, for Clinical Science Teaching
  • Mark Hamrick, Regents’ Professor, Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, for Basic Science Research
  • Stanley Nahman, professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, for Clinical Science Research
  • Rita Jerath, associate professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology, for Patient Care

Other Awards:

  • Wendy Bollag, professor, Department of Physiology, Institutional Service Award
  • Meghan McGee-Lawrence, associate professor, Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, Outstanding Young Basic Science Faculty
  • Brian Stansfield, assistant professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Outstanding Young Clinical Science Faculty
  • Greet Johal, a second-year cardiology fellow; and Dr. Germame Ajebo, a second-year hematology/oncology fellow, were both named Residents of the Year

The Department of Medicine was recognized by the fourth-year class for its outstanding clinical science teaching and the Department of Pathology was recognized by the second-year class for its outstanding basic science teaching.



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Written by
Jennifer Hilliard Scott

Jennifer Hilliard Scott is Senior Communications Coordinator at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-8604 or

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Written by Jennifer Hilliard Scott

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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